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|Thursday, August 16, 2001, updated at 09:48(GMT+8)|
China Curbs Industrial Pollution along Yangtze RiverOver the past few years, China has attached great importance to curbing the pollution of river water by industries in the Yangtze River area, and all the large enterprises have adopted substantial measures to minimize their discharge of waste into the country's largest river.
This was learned Wednesday from a conference on the issue which was held in this major steel production base. The meeting was hosted by the Yangtze River Water Conservancy Committee and attended by environmental officials and representatives of large companies from the river area.
The participants agreed that the central government's plan to further strengthen water conservancy facilities in the Yangtze River area will promote environmental protection in an orderly manner. At the end of the meeting, they published a common declaration urging all industries in the area to abide by the environmental laws and regulations and adopt substantial steps to protect the water quality of the Yangtze.
The river is 6,300 km in length, and is the richest water resource in the country, but water pollution in the area is getting worse. According to an official report published in 1999, the amount of industrial waste and urban sewage discharged into the river in that year totaled 20.7 billion tons, accounting for almost one-third of the country's total.
The fact that the first phase of the Three Gorges Hydropower Project is scheduled to be completed by 2003, and the forthcoming launch of the project to transfer water from the middle reaches of the Yangtze has made the issue more pressing, according to the participants.
Some of the speakers pointed out that water protection in the area calls for better coordination and cooperation among different provinces and cities, as well as the enterprises concerned, and they proposed setting up a special board formed of environmental officials from these localities.
They also called for more technological cooperation and exchanges among local companies and with overseas firms, so as to introduce advanced technology into the work. Moreover, they said, the government should establish a special fund for water protection in the area and train more professionals to meet the demand for such people.
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